© 2019 Terry Swails

THE ROAD TO COLD....

December 22, 2018

If you follow this blog you know I put an emphasis on the MJO (Madden Julien Oscillation) and its strong ties to temperature trends, especially during the winter months. For much of the past 3 weeks the oscillation has been in the friendly winter warm phases of 3 and 4. Correspondingly, we've seen little snow and cold after a rip roaring November.

 

Recently, the convection in the Indian Ocean that's been driving the warm phases has begun to wane. We should begin to see a drop in the SOI (southern oscillation index) indicating the MJO is on the move.

 

The EURO is sensing the change in its MJO forecast taking the index steadily through 5,6, and 7 on its way to the holy grail of cold (8,1, and 2) around January 4th. This indicates to me that we are on the road to cold and January has high potential for Arctic outbreaks if the forecast verifies.

Here's the phase analogs for January temperatures when the MJO is in 8,1, and 2 which it seems destined to be in much of the month. To be clear, there will be in and out shots of cold the next 2 weeks but the threat of significant cold will likely hold of until at least the 2nd week of January. Then the Arctic hounds could start to howl.

Before that happens we have 2 disturbances to deal with. The first arrives early Christmas day with a chance of light snow. As mentioned in previous posts this is a moisture starved system that's moving fast. As a result the window for snow is small and amounts look to be minimal. In general a dusting is suggested with a few totals approaching an inch. Here's what the EURO shows for snow totals through Christmas day.

The second system is the big bopper and as I've been saying for days, this one is the real deal. Heavy precipitation up to an inch (or more) is possible for much of my area. Here's what the latest EURO shows for total precipitation through Friday.

Unfortunately for snow lovers like me the track of the storm looks sufficient to keep the heavier snows well to the west of my area. Here's what the EURO has for snow totals December 26th-28th.

Back to the present, the weather through Monday looks chilly but dry. You last minute shoppers or Christmas travelers have no weather concerns with high pressure firmly in control through Christmas Eve. Find that perfect gift and navigate the roads and crowds with ease! Roll weather...TS

 

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